Exploration of the ‘Selfie’

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First Posted: 3/15/2015

Anyone who is somewhat knowledgeable of the vast internet, is aware of the prominent selfie. Whether you envision them as a sea of duck faces or hashtagged and packaged as #iwokeuplikethis (which, let us be honest, you probably are not being honest #sorrynotsorry), the force is strong with selfie staying power. YouTube sensation, Shane Dawson is capitalizing on just that. Using a play on words, the brilliant and always hilarious, Dawson, introduces his recent collection of essays, “I Hate Myselfie,” which tackles the topics of ego in society.

The work, while serious and retrospective at times, is a funny self-deprecating view into Dawson’s life as he takes readers on a chronological adventure from past to present. Therein, Dawson discusses not only insecurities with our identity, but also his own personal battles and transformation. Within the collection includes 19 essays — some of the best just so happen to be the most depressing, but funny. Such examples include: “The Original Catfish,” “Between Hollywood and an Abortion Clinic,” “How to Survive a Horror Movie,” and “The Mean Girl Got Fat.”

In the introduction, “I Hate Myselfie,” Dawson addresses his online persona from his actual presence: “For the record, I don’t really hate myself, but I do hate the way I portray myself online. Hence ‘myselfie’. See what I did there? Online, I’m this loud, outrageous, confident guy who acts like nothing bothers him and he has the whole world at his fingertips. In reality, I’m a shy, quiet guy who would rather spend his nights lying in bed watching Netflix than being a valuable member of society.” Unfortunately for Dawson, he has become quite the esteemed member. As demonstrated within the collection, each chapter is prefaced by various artwork. Interestingly enough, each one of these artists is a fan of Dawson, and in his modesty, through this venue, he too, pays homage to them.

To anyone who has been a victim of bullying, Dawson further notes that when faced with a dream situation in reality (e.g. seeing your arch nemesis a decade later transform from hot to not) as documented in “The Mean Girl Got Fat,” one actually comes to a crisis of their own. To bully the bully or take the higher ground? Luckily, Dawson does the latter, and readers find goodwill in knowing that even the worst of situations can still make the best of people.